Amyloid-associated Cystic Lung Disease in Primary Sjögren's Syndrome

Respir Med. 2013 Apr;107(4):616-21. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2013.01.005. Epub 2013 Feb 10.


Background: Cystic lung disease can be seen in patients with Sjögren's syndrome (SS) and is generally thought to be due to lymphocytic interstitial pneumonia.

Methods: Using computer-assisted search we identified patients with primary SS seen at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN during a 14-year period from 1997 to 2010 who were diagnosed with pulmonary amyloidosis confirmed on lung biopsy. Clinical records, imaging studies, and pathologic specimens were reviewed to delineate presenting features, diagnostic evaluation, and clinical course.

Results: Eight patients (7 women, 1 man) with primary SS were diagnosed with pulmonary amyloidosis by lung biopsy (7 surgical, 1 bronchoscopic). Their median age was 55 years (range, 32-75 years) and all were nonsmokers. Presenting symptoms included dyspnea and cough but 4 patients presented with radiologic abnormalities in the absence of respiratory symptoms. CT findings included cystic lesions and nodular opacities in all eight patients. PET scan performed in six patients did not reveal (18)F-2-deoxyglucose (FDG) uptake except in one nodule with borderline uptake. Lung biopsy demonstrated the presence of amyloid in all patients and was associated with mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma in three patients. Pulmonary function results were normal in five patients and revealed mild impairment in a mixed pattern in one patient.

Conclusions: We conclude cystic and nodular lung lesions seen in patients with primary SS can represent amyloidosis which can be associated with MALT lymphoma in some of these patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amyloidosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Amyloidosis / etiology*
  • Amyloidosis / pathology
  • Cysts / diagnostic imaging
  • Cysts / etiology*
  • Cysts / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Diseases / etiology*
  • Lung Diseases / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell, Marginal Zone / diagnostic imaging
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell, Marginal Zone / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / complications*
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / diagnostic imaging
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / pathology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed